Monday, March 19, 2012

James Beard Finalists Announced!

Next's dining room. (Photo: Next)

Last year, the actual James Beard award ceremonies were pretty dismal for Chicago, so here's hoping we'll fare better in 2012. New this year is a category for Outstanding Bar Program, in which two Chicago spots were tapped; no Chicagoan included in the Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional category.

Charlie Trotter (Charlie Trotter's) is named Humanitarian of the Year and Grant Achatz (Alinea, The Aviary, Next) is one of the 2012 Who's Who Inductees.

Here are the Chicago finalists; the Restaurant and Chef Award winners will be announced in New York on May 7: